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Wood specific gravity variations and biomass of central African tree species: The simple choice of the outer wood

Bastin J.F., Fayolle A., Tarelkin Y., Van den Bulcke J., De Haulleville T., Mortier F., Beeckman H., Van Acker J., Serckx A., Bogaert J., De Cannière C.. 2015. PloS One, 10 (11) : 16 p..

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0142146

Wood specific gravity is a key element in tropical forest ecology. It integrates many aspects of tree mechanical properties and functioning and is an important predictor of tree biomass. Wood specific gravity varies widely among and within species and also within individual trees. Notably, contrasted patterns of radial variation of wood specific gravity have been demonstrated and related to regeneration guilds (light demanding vs. shade-bearing). However, although being repeatedly invoked as a potential source of error when estimating the biomass of trees, both intraspecific and radial variations remain little studied. In this study we characterized detailed pith-to-bark wood specific gravity profiles among contrasted species prominently contributing to the biomass of the forest, i.e., the dominant species, and we quantified the consequences of such variations on the biomass.

Mots-clés : bois; densité; forêt tropicale; propriété physicochimique; propriété mécanique; biomasse; production du bois; Écologie forestière; modèle linéaire; méthode statistique; compétition végétale; allométrie; compétition interspécifique; compétition intraspécifique; république démocratique du congo; densité du bois

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